After an influx of new talent, the Los Angeles Lakers have retooled their roster in order to try to stay competitive next season.
Conventional wisdom says that the Lakers will be much worse next season. Without Dwight Howard manning the middle, Metta World Peace and Earl Clark protecting the perimeter and Antawn Jamison stretching the floor, the Lakers have lost four of their most productive players.
Upon closer inspection, the Lakers have filled these gaping holes with young athletes and shooters that should theoretically fit in better with Mike D'Antoni's system.
Without seeing Wesley Johnson, Nick Young or any of the other new additions in training camp or in the preseason, there is no real way to know how well the team will mesh.
The only way to make a real prediction of the Lakers' performance next season is to project the new additions' statistical output based on a variety of factors.
These statistical projections will be based on both intangible and tangible factors such as experience, stats per 36 minutes and projected playing time.
Elias Harris will not be included in the projections as he should not see more than 10 minutes per game behind Chris Kaman, Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill and maybe even Robert Sacre (who re-signed with the Lakers for three more years).
Projected Stats: 13 points, three rebounds, two assists
Projected Minutes: 20+
Nick Young may start off the season competing with Jodie Meeks for starters' minutes if Kobe Bryant isn't able to return for opening day.
However, once the Black Mamba returns to form, Young should still see over 20 minutes per game playing both the shooting guard and the small forward positions.
With averages of 17.7 points, three rebounds and close to two assists per 36 minutes, Young should be able to produce 13 points per game as the primary option off the bench.
Howard's absence this season also means that every position has to step up and rebound the basketball. Young's athleticism and 6'6" frame could help him rebound the ball at a rate close to his averages per 36 minutes.
As a proven scorer when given free rein, his close to 18 points per game on 44.1 percent shooting during the 2010-2011 NBA season is a good indicator of what he is capable of.
He should see similar freedom as the primary offensive option on the second unit.
His 37.4 percent shooting from three-point land and his ability to run the floor make him an ideal fit for Mike D'Antoni's system.
Projected Stats: 11 points, two rebounds, four assists
Projected Minutes per Game: 25+
Jordan Farmar's is a welcome addition to the Lakers rotation.
His averages of 14.2 points, five assists and three rebounds per 36 minutes show his versatility as a point guard.
As the only capable substitute for Steve Nash, Farmar should see enough minutes to really make an impact on the court.
While he has never averaged more than 10.4 points per game during his career, he has also never seen more than 25 minutes of playing time per game.
His increased playing time alongside his experience overseas should make him a better player the same way Anthony Parker evolved after a stint in Europe prior to his run with the Toronto Raptors.
Farmar will also control the ball a lot more. During his initial stint with the Lakers, Lamar Odom was the primary distributor for the second unit. Without another capable creator on the second unit, Farmar will have to step up to the plate and create for himself and others.
As evidenced by his 36.7 percent shooting from three-point range, Farmar is a capable three-point shooter that should also thrive in D'Antoni's offense.
Projected Stats: 10 points, eight rebounds, one assist, one block
Projected Minutes per Game: 25+
Chris Kaman has been as inconsistent as they come during his career.
Flashes of All-Star talent behind a cornucopia of injuries have mitigated the big man's impact.
If Kaman can stay healthy, he should see upward of 25 minutes per game given the lack of depth in the frontcourt.
Despite his 10 rebounds per 36 minutes, Kaman should still average close to double digits in rebounding due to the lack of really serviceable rebounders outside of himself, Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill.
A capable interior scorer, he may not see the touches he deserves with Gasol being the better interior option and D'Antoni catering to a more uptempo style.
Projected Stats: Six points, two rebounds, two assists
Projected Minutes per Game: 15+
While Wesley Johnson's 12 points, four rebounds and two assists per 36 minutes look promising, it is possible that Johnson could get lost in the shuffle.
Johnson will be behind Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Chris Kaman, Steve Nash, Nick Young, Jodie Meeks and Jordan Farmar on the offense pecking order.
He has shown great length and athleticism during his three seasons in the league. However, the fact that he has only regressed from the nine points per game he produced in his rookie season doesn't bode well for a player that won't even be the third or fourth option on offense.
Johnson should still be a starter due to his length and quickness on defense and the talent deficit at the small forward position. However, the rawness of his talent and the bevy of better marksmen could decrease his production.